10 Festive Holiday Markets to Check Out in Toronto

They’re perfect excuse to bust out that holiday sweater and get into the festive spirit

Ishani Nath
Toronto Christmas Market
Toronto Christmas Market

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply any opportunity to sip a steaming mug of mulled wine (hi!), the festive season is here and Toronto is all about it. Holiday markets have become a staple in the city every winter, and offer endless opportunities to load up on unique gifts, munch on seasonal treats and get out and enjoy the winter before officially hibernating until spring.

Here are the exciting Christmas and holiday markets (including multiple that have *free* admission) opening in Toronto this season:

The Toronto Christmas Market

Find it: November 14 to December 22, Tuesday to Sunday 12 to 9 p.m., and open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) in The Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street, tochristmasmarket.com

The lowdown: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Toronto Christmas Market, which takes over the city’s historic Distillery District with holiday-focused vendors, and fun festive surprises each year.

Must-visit vendor: If you need to warm up, stop by Nespresso’s elaborate Nordic Garden-themed pop-up which has a full coffee bar, space to sit and rest your feet, and a photo booth to snap a few pics for the ’gram.

But also: The Toronto Christmas Market’s giant tree, located in the heart of the festival, is a spectacle on its own. This year, the 50-foot balsam fir is coming to Toronto from Bancroft, Ontario, and will be blue and silver and sparkly all over.

Cost of admission: Free on weekdays until Fridays at 6 p.m., $8 for weekend tickets bought online in advance, $12 for same-day tickets. Note that weekend entry is offered in time slots. Children under 5 are free to attend, but do require a ticket to enter. (When an adult purchases a ticket, they can register up to four children.)

On the first two weekends, admission is free if you bring eight cans of food to donate to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Also, if you love the Christmas Market but hate the lines, consider buying the Premium Experience Pass for $30, which provides front-of-the-line access into the festival and entry to two indoor warming lounges.

One of a Kind Winter Show

Find it: November 21 to December 1, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princess Boulevard, oneofakindshow.com

The lowdown: As the largest craft show in North America, featuring more than 800 artisans and products ranging from handcrafted furniture to delicious food, the One of a Kind Winter Show is basically a one-stop shop for unique holiday gifts.

Must-visit vendor: TAV Studio’s stunning planters, dishes and mugs, handmade by Vancouver artisan Tanvi Aurora, are basically a guaranteed perfect gift for friends or family—or maybe, for yourself. Because, let’s be real, you deserve it.

But also: In addition to gifts, the One of a Kind Show has some of the best holiday cards, including LOL-worthy options from Naughty Florals with messages like “’Tis the season to get drunk & eat carbs.”

Cost of admission: $15 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and youth, and free for children under 12

Read this next: 21 Gifts That Give Back This Holiday Season

The Eco Lifestyle Market

Find it: November 10 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West, theecolifestylemarket.com

The lowdown: This market is all about showcasing the latest in green living, health and wellness from new brands as well as local staples. This year, organizers are focusing on vendors who offer zero waste goods—what better way to get your new year off to a greener start?

Must-visit vendor: If you’re a fan of bubble tea (and I mean, hi, who isn’t?), stop by ReBubble which offers reusable cups specifically designed for bubble tea and boba, so you can sip your fave bevvy and skip the plastic waste.

But also: Get lit this holiday season with handcrafted candles made from Canadian soy and essential-oil based scents from Citchen Candle Co. These eco-friendly products are super chic and ideal for a gift exchange

Cost of admission: Free

Winterfest at Canadas Wonderland
WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland

WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland

Find it: Select nights November 22 to December 31, times vary so check the calendar for hours, at Canada’s Wonderland, 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan, canadaswonderland.com

The lowdown: For the first time, this massive amusement park located just outside of Toronto will be transformed into a legit winter wonderland with five million holiday lights, shows and tons of festive treats.

Must-visit attraction: The new annual event will have eight themed areas, including Candy Cane Lane, the Elf Village and Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town. Stop by Snow Flake Lake in front of the park’s iconic Wonder Mountain for ice skating.

But also: There’s a lot to see and do at WinterFest, but set aside time at 5:30 p.m. to catch the tree-lighting ceremony and performance.

Cost of admission: General admission is $22 online or $35 onsite, junior (under 4 feet) and senior (ages 62+) tickets are $20 online or $23 onsite and children under the age of 3 are free

Read this next: 23 Low-Waste Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Nathan Phillips Square Holiday Fair

Find it: December 7 to 23, Tuesday to Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 to 10 p.m., Sundays 12 to 9 p.m., closed Monday except for December 23, 12 to 7 p.m, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, fairinthesquare.ca

The lowdown: After braving the holiday crowds at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre, pop over to Nathan Phillips Square for a free event that combines the elegance of a Christmas market with the excitement of a winter carnival.

Must-visit vendor: The artisan village will host a ton of options, including Get Furry, which sells Canadian-made toques with customizable pom-poms (“floofs” as they call them) that will keep you warm and chic all winter.

But also: After skating on the iconic ice rink, warm up at the Polar Point booth with some Jackson Triggs mulled wine or Growers hot apple cider.

Cost of admission: Free

Black Owned Holiday Market

Find it: December 14, 12 to 9 p.m., International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, blackownedunity.com

The lowdown: As the name indicates, this market features products and services by Black Canadians and is designed to create an atmosphere of support and empowerment, celebrating Afro-Carribean culture.

Must-visit vendor: Satisfy your sweet tooth with amazing desserts, including Jamaican rum cheesecake from Shikor Bliss.

But also: Learn different headwrap styles with tutorials from MyTignon, who will also be selling a variety of their products onsite.

Cost of admission: Pay what you can

Glow Gardens
Christmas Glow

Christmas Glow

Find it: November 28 to January 4 (opening times vary, check the calendar for daily hours), Toronto Congress Centre North Building, 1020 Martin Grove Road, Etobicoke, glowgardens.com

The lowdown: Canada’s largest indoor Christmas festival—which includes a light garden, bar with seasonal beverages and snacks, and a market of artisans—was first launched in 2017 in Vancouver and is now in 11 cities in three countries around the world.

Must-visit attraction: This festival really lives up to its name, creating tons of glowing exhibits to ignite that holiday spirit. Make sure to visit the light tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by 50,000 sparking lights—it’s basically like stepping into a tunnel made of sparkle.

But also: If you’re looking to stage the perfect holiday IG post, this festival has tons of options. From the trail leading through giant festive structures to a section with hanging picture frames, there are plenty of cool photo opps.

Cost of admission: $20 for adults and teens, $15 for kids aged 4 to 12 and seniors, free for children 3 and under

Holiday Market at Evergreen’s Winter Village

Find it: Every Saturday and Sunday from November 30 to December 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Avenue, evergreen.ca

The lowdown: Evergreen Brickworks, the reimagined historic brickmaking factory nestled in Toronto’s Don Valley, will be transformed into a magical winter village, with a variety of local craft vendors, live music and snacks.

Must-do: Every Sunday there will be live music, including a special concert by the Tafelmusik orchestra on December 7.

But also: Bring your skates and enjoy Evergreen Brickworks’ beautiful outdoor skating rink.

Cost of admission: Free

Read this next: 24 Gifts That Will Seriously Work for Anyone on Your List

Swedish Christmas Market

Find it: December 7 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m )and December 8 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East, toronto.swea.org

The lowdown: Immerse yourself in the holiday magic and traditions of Sweden at this annual event, which marks its 39th anniversary in Toronto this year.

Must-visit attraction: Nothing sets the holiday mood quite like a children’s choir singing carols so make sure to catch the traditional Lucia Pageant, a highlight at this market.

But also: Grab a drink of glögg (spiced wine) and sample some of the delicious Scandinavian food before busting a move with some folk dancing.

Cost of admission: Free

Vegan Christmas Market

Find it: December 14 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at the Ontario Heritage Centre, 8 Adelaide Street East, marchenoelvegane.com

The lowdown: Solidify your spot on Santa’s “nice” list with gift options and treats that are all made without animal exploitation at Toronto’s Vegan Christmas Market.

Must-visit vendor: Grab a sparkly accessory or versatile handbag for that special someone at Poppy & Peonies.

But also: Going vegan does not mean sacrificing taste and this market has plenty of vendors to prove it, including local faves Apiecalypes Now! pizza and snack bar and Pasta Tucci.

Cost of admission: Free

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